Volunteer Abroad for Special Needs Support in Kerala, India

Kerala, India Children & Youth Development



Travel to India's beautiful state of Kerala and volunteer at a local school for special needs children as well as at a relief settlement. Lead sessions, games or sport activities alongside specialist teachers, participate in vocational training, assist with the children's physical and education development and take part in therapeutic activities with the local residents of the relief settlement.

Live and volunteer in India to lead physical activities, arts, music or therapeutic sessions with individuals with physical and mental disabilities.

You will work in a special needs school and you can get involved in leading sessions of games or sports, arts and other basic activities alongside specialist teachers. There will also be opportunities to assist specialist teachers in early intervention units or the vocational unit of the school.

You will work at one or both of our healthcare projects in Kerala, depending on the need of the project at the time. Our first healthcare project is located at a special needs school where volunteers will be involved in leading sessions of games, sports, arts and other basic activities alongside the specialist teachers. There will also be opportunities to assist specialist teachers in early intervention units or the vocational unit of the school. The other project is based at a local relief settlement for individuals with varying mental and physical illnesses. Volunteers will carry out vocational training as well as helping to sustain an eco-garden to offer therapeutic activities to the residents.

No previous training is required. However, if you have prior experience in the health sector or in working with disabled people this would be hugely beneficial to the project. Mention to your coordinator if so, so we can utilise your skills correctly on the ground.

Highlights include

– Immersing yourself a different culture and way of life

– Making a genuine contribution to an underprivileged community

– Living and working with volunteers from all over the world

– Discovering India’s ornate temples

– Support our local henna artist and immerse yourself in the Indian culture

– Take in breathtaking landscapes and vibrant cities during your time off

Volunteer in Kerala

The area of Kerala is one of the highlights of India and a must-see destination. Project work takes place around the city of Kochi (Cochin), a port town since the early centuries offering fascinating snippets of history and culture that including the oldest European Church in India, an enchanting spice market and the famous 15th Century Chinese fishing nets, a truly stunning location to volunteer in.


On this project, you will have the opportunity to make a genuine and varied contribution towards the quality of healthcare support in Kerala. In addition to assisting at a special needs school, you may also get involved in creating educational and promotional materials to be used in workshops and assisting with health and hygiene education. The variety of roles you will have means you really can make your mark while your own the project.

How this project makes a difference:

Resources and facilities for people with disabilities are limited in India, so the help you will provide local communities is highly-valued.

Through exercise sessions and learning activities, including art and play therapy, you will be making a significant difference to both the physical and educational development of children with special needs.

India short, mid, and long-term objectives

All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualize their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

Learn about the long-term objectives you will be contributing to in India:

1. Increase women's opportunities in Kerala.

2. Ensure healthy lives, well-being and promote opportunities and equality for those with special needs in Kerala.

3. Enable the absolute development of children and young adults in Kerala by providing support and training in LSBE (life skills base education).

Field conditions

You spend your days supporting healthcare projects based on the need and urgency at the time. While at the school you will spend your time leading physical exercises and learning activities with children with special needs and disabilties. You can also be involved in conducting one-on-one lessons with some of the children or spending time with students in vocational training units. At the relief centre, in between assisting with the vocational training and therapeutic activities you may also have the chance to assist with construction and improvement works in the local community. Although your days can seem very long they are also extremely rewarding.

Arrival and orientation

Upon arrival, you will receive an orientation that will provide you with information on cultural awareness and training about the health partners and what you will be doing. Having completed the training, you will begin volunteering on the project!

Your stay


  • HousingVolunteer house

  • Provided mealsBreakfast, dinner

Accommodation description

You will live in dormitory-style accommodation in a clean and comfortable house with running water, electricity and flushing toilets. Your meals are also provided for you. Cooking and cleaning duties are shared.

If you would prefer to stay in private accommodation while on this project, this location does offer upgrades. Contact us for more information, or mention to your Country Expert who will be able to assist you.


Volunteers are provided dormitory-style accommodations.


from $850 USDper week

from $850 USDper week


What’s included

  • Welcome meeting

  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)

  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)

  • Long term experienced staff

  • Location orientation

  • All necessary project training by experienced staff

  • All necessary project equipment and materials

  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)

  • Access to alumni services and discounts

  • 24-hour in-country support

  • 24-hour emergency phone

What’s not included

  • Visa costs

  • Police or background check (where necessary)

  • Personal kit

  • Medical and travel insurance

  • International and domestic airport taxes

  • Flights

  • Extra local excursions

  • Additional drinks and gratuities

Start dates

Select Saturdays Year Round

Founded in 1997, Global Vision International (GVI) is an award-winning organization that provides volunteer and internship opportunities in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. GVI has sent more than 25,000 volunteers overseas on programs ranging from construction, to animal care, to education, and beyond with 95% of past volunteers stating they would want to travel again with them again.

GVI has been featured by National Geographic, CNN, the Daily Telegraph, and the BBC. Their university partners include Duke University, Stanford University, Northeastern University, and Ohio State University.

Since 1998, GVI has been running multiple-award winning, high quality and high impact conservation and community development programs worldwide. At the core of who we are and what we have managed to achieve is of our team of passionate individuals.

We are committed to our mission of making a difference because we believe in what we do and have seen the impact we make in the field first-hand. With most of our staff having started out as GVI volunteers themselves, they have confidence in our projects and are dedicated to ensuring you have the same amazing experience that they did.


All our projects are directed by our local partners and we ensure all rights and credits stay in the country.

Through our various partnerships with prolific organisations such as Save the Children, The Red Cross, WWF, SANParks and The Jane Goodall Institute, to smaller community based organisations on the ground, we are able to provide quality programs that provide aid when and where it is needed the most. So you can be assured that our projects are legitimate and are making a difference.


GVI supplies funding and manpower to multiple grassroots initiatives in developing countries all over the world.

Some of our biggest achievements to date have been awarding over 3,865 education scholarships; providing support to over 380 organizations worldwide; investing over 35,000,000 USD in our projects and running over 900 environmental sustainability initiatives in over 350 locations, including over 100 protected areas covering more than 12 million hectares.

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